תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

character of Mahomed, and after some conversation with him at a distance, he transmitted to me an ebony spoon, and other things, which were tokens that they came from him ; and at the same instant a communication was opened from various places for the heat of their polygamical love, which from some felt like the heat in baths after bathing; from some like the heat in kitchens where flesh is boiling; from some like the heat in cooks' shops where stinking meat is exposed to sale ; from some like what is perceived in an apothecary's shop, where emulsions and such sort of

prepa. rations are made

up;

from some like the heat in stews and bagnios ; and from some like the smell in shops where skins, leather, and shoes are exposed to sale: there was also in that heat something of a rancid, rough, and burning quality, arising from jealousy. But the heat in the Christian heavens, when the delight of their love is perceived as an odour, is like the fragrance of gardens, and vineyards, and shrubberies ; and in some places it is like the odour in shops where spices are exposed to sale; and in other places like the scent arising from wine-presses and wine-vaults. That the delights of love are frequently perceived in the spiritual world as odours, has been shewn throughout in the MemoRABLE RELATIONS annexed to the separate chapters of this work.

OF THE AFRICANS IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLD, WITH

some OBSERVATIONS RESPECTING THE GENTILES.

835. The Gentiles, who have known nothing concerning the Lord, appear in the spiritual world in a circumference beyond those who have ; and according to this law, the last or outermost circumterences entirely consist of those who had been mere idolaters, and in the former world had wor. shipped the sun and moon. But they who acknowledge one God, and practise the commandments of religion, such as those delivered in the decalogue, and thence inscribe them on their lives, bave more immediate communication with the Christians in the middle point of the spiritual world, the communication not being intercepted by the Mahomedans and Roman Catholics. The Gentiles are also distinguished according to their genius, and their different capacities of receiving light through the heavens from the Lord; for there are among them both interior and exterior men, which arises partly from climate, partly from parentage, partly from education, and partly from religion. The Africans are a more interior people than any other of the Gentiles.

836. All amongst them who acknowledge and worship one God the Creator of the Universe, cherish the idea of God as of a Man, insisting that it is impossible for any one to form any other idea of God. When they are informed that several entertain an idea of God as of æther, or a cloud, they inquire where such are to be found, and when they are told that they are among Christians, they deny it to be possible; but in reply to this they are instructed, that they derive the idea from the circumstance, that God is called in the Word a Spirit, and they can form no conception of spirit but as of the substance of æther, or as of the form of a cloud, not knowing that every spirit and every angel is a man; and yet when it has been examined whether their spiritual idea was similar to their natural idea, it has been discovered that it was not similar with those who interiorly acknowledge the Lord the Saviour as the God of heaven and earth. I heard once a certain clergyman assert, that no one can have an idea of a Divine Humanity; and I saw him translated to various Gentiles, of a nature and genius more and more interior, and likewise to their heavens, and at last to the Christian heaven, and in every place be received a communication of their interior perception concerning God, and observed, that they had no other idea of God than that of a Divine Man, and that none other could have created man, who is His image and likeness.

837. As the Africans excel all other gentiles in clearness of interior judgment, I have held conversations with them upon subjects of profound inquiry, and lately concerning God, concerning the Lord the Redeemer, and concerning the interior and exterior man; and as they were delighted with such discourse, I shall here briefly describe what their perceptions were, from their interior sight, on these three subjects. Concerning God they said, That He surely did come down and present Himself before the sight of men, because He is their Creator, Protector, and Leader, and the human race is His: they said too that He sees, considers, and extends His provident care over all and every thing in the heavens and the earth, and regardeth their good as in Himself, and Himself in their good; for He is the Sun of the angelic heaven, which appears of the same altitude above the spiritual world, as the sun of the earth above the natural world, and He who is the Sun, sees, considers, and provides for all and every thing beneath : and as it is His Divine Love which appeareth as a sun, it follows, that He provides for whatsoever relates to their life, in the greatest and in the least of His creatures, and for mankind whatever relateth to love and wisdom, the principles of love by its heat, and the principles of wisdom by its light. If therefore ye form to yourselves an idea of God as being the Sun of the universe, it will assuredly enable you to see and acknowledge His omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence.

838. We had further conversation together on the LORD THE SAVIOUR, the substance of which was, that God in His essense is Divine Love, and Divine Love is as most pure fire; and as love, considered in itself, cannot but intend to become one with another whom it loveth, so the Divine Love can intend nothing but to unite Itself with man, and man with Itself,, so that It may be in him, and he in It; and as the Divine Love is as most pure fire, it is evident, that God, being such, could not possibly be in man, and cause man to be in Him, for thus he would reduce the whole man to the thinnest vapour; and yet as God, from His essence, burnt with the love of uniting, Himself with man, it was necessary that He should veil Himself around with a body accommodated to reception and conjunction; wherefore He came down and assumed Humanity according to the order established by Himself from the creation of the world, which was, that He should be conceived by a virtue or power propagated from Himself, be carried in the womb, be born, and afterwards grow in wisdom and love, and thus approach to union with His Divine Origin, and that thus God was made Man, and Man God. That the fact is so, is plainly taught and testified in that Scripture concerning Him, which is in the possession of Christians, and is called the Word; for there God Himself, who in His Humanity is called Jesus Christ, saith, that the Father is in Him, and He in the Father; and that whoso seeth Hiin, seeth the Father; with much more to the same purpose. Reason too may discern that God, whose love is as most pure fire, could no other. wise unite Himself with man, and man with Himself. For can the solar fire, such as it is in itself, come in contact with man, far less enter into him, unless its rays be veiled with atmospheres, and so be presented in an accommodated state by a tempered heat ? Can the pure æther encompass man, far less flow into the bronchia of his lungs, unless it be accompanied with air, and so adapt itself? A fish cannot live in the air, but in an element suited to its life. Nay, a king cannot in His own person, or immediately, extend bis administration to all and every part of his kingdom, but must appoint superior and inferior governors, who together constitute the body of his royalty. Nor can the soul of man make itself visible to another, have any intercourse with him, and give him proofs of its love, except by means of the body :how then can God do this, but by the Humanity, which is His Body?The Africans, being possessed of interior rationality above other Gentiles perceived the truth of these observations, and each favoured them according to his perception.

839. We discoursed, lastly, about the INTERIOR AND Exterior Man, and the substance of our conversation was this : That men, who perceive things interiorly, are in the light of truth, which is the light of heaven, and that men, who perceive things exteriorly, are in no light of truth, because they are only in the light of the world ; 80 that interior men are in intelligence and wisdom, but exterior men are in insanity and in preposterous vision : that interior men are spiritual, because they think from the spirit elevated above the body, and thence they see truths in the light, but that exterior men are sensual-natural, because they think from the fallacies of the bodily senses, and thence see truths as in a mist, and when they meditate on theni they see falses as truths : that internal men are as those who stand on a mountain in a plain, or on a tower in a city, or on a beacon at sea ; but external men are as those who stand in a valley at the foot of a mountain, or in a vault under a tower, or in a boat under a beacon, who see nothing but what is close to them ; again, that internal men are as those who inhabit the second or third story of a house or palace, the walls of which are continued windows of crystal glass, who have a view of the city all around to a great extent, and know every house in it; whereas external men are as those who dwell in the lowest story, the windows of which are made of paper pasted together, so that they can not see any one street out of the house, but only the objects contained within it, nor even those without the light of a candle or a fire: that internal men are as eagles soaring in the air, which see far and wide whatever is beneath them; whilst, on the other hand, external men are as cocks, which stand on a post and crow aloud in the presence of their hens that are walking on the grouud : lastly, that internal men perceive that

« הקודםהמשך »